Lyn Romeo, England’s chief social worker for adults, is joining Herefordshire adult social care staff and making a key note speech in the county’s first adult social care conference next week.
The conference takes place on Monday 1 December at the Three Counties Hotel (9-1pm) and has been organised for the adult social care workforce by Herefordshire Council to look at what has been achieved over the last 12 months and discuss future plans.
Lyn will set out the national context for the changing face of adult social care and talk about some of the challenges being faced by local authorities as demand for care continues to grow whilst budgets reduce. There will also be a group of people who use services in Herefordshire talking about their experiences of receiving personalised services, followed by discussion of how these experiences can be improved in the future.
Staff attending will hear about a proposed new approach from director Helen Coombes, and cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Cllr Graham Powell. They will also have the opportunity to question the senior management team about what support and tools will be available to help them work with service users, carers and communities.
The launch of the new approach heralds the start of a conversation with staff and Herefordshire residents that is likely to continue for the next year.
Cllr Graham Powell, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “I am delighted that Lyn Romeo is going to be joining us for our first adult social care conference. I look forward to sharing our thoughts with her on how we can work with residents to make the changes we need to make.
“During the last five years, core funding for local authorities will have reduced by 40 percent. This has impacted dramatically on adult social care and its capacity to deliver.
“We have some incredibly hard working dedicated members of staff working with adults in Herefordshire – they care greatly about the people they work with. At the same time we have a growing number of older people who need help to live independently and stay safe, but we don’t have enough money to carry on delivering social services in the same way as we do at the moment. So we have to change our approach and support neighbours, communities and families to do more.
“This is quite a big shift to make and we can’t do it on our own – it’s really important that we talk to members of the public, our staff and the people who need our services to see how we can achieve this. This is just the beginning of what promises to be a long and challenging conversation.”